Vivek Ramaswamy Has a Big Stake in BuzzFeed

Struggling media company's shares jumped more than 20% Wednesday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2024 7:23 AM CDT
Vivek Ramaswamy Has a Big Stake in BuzzFeed
Vivek Ramaswamy speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC 2024, earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

After he dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination earlier this year, Vivek Ramaswamy began amassing a stake in BuzzFeed, according to a regulatory filing released this week. Shares in the media company jumped more than 20% Wednesday after it emerged that the entrepreneur had acquired a 7.7% stake, CNN reports. At one point, the stock was up 82%. According to the filing, Ramaswamy believes the "shares are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity." It states that he will "seek to engage in a dialogue" with company leadership over "opportunities to maximize shareholder value," including a shift in the company's strategy.

  • The filing states that Ramaswamy spent almost $4 million buying BuzzFeed shares in a price range of $1.54 to $2.51, Axios reports. That's well above the record low of $0.64 the struggling company hit earlier this year, but a bargain compared to a few years ago. The company's shares have fallen 92% since its IPO in 2021. Over the last year or so, BuzzFeed has laid off employees and closed its news division.
  • Asked what Ramaswamy's plans for the company are, spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin told CNN: "Stay tuned."
  • New York magazine, which describes BuzzFeed as an "unabashedly left-leaning site," notes that Ramaswamy will have limited power to take it in a different direction. His stake is entirely in Class A shares, while founder and CEO Jonah Peretti owns most of the more powerful Class B shares, giving him 64% control of the company.
  • "BuzzFeed is purposely structured to protect its editorial integrity," the company said in a statement. "We are always open to hearing ideas from our shareholders."
(More BuzzFeed stories.)

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